Wonder, through secret doors; Inspiration from Mac Barnett

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Sometimes I find something the boys have added to my curated selection of their art work hanging in the playroom. I love when they deem something worthy of hanging. I have no idea what this piece is about, but I love how mysterious this door is and its interesting shape created by cutting and folding the edges of the bold yellow paper. It’s like an invitation into another world, maybe a world filled with beautiful blue and green streams and little houses atop bright green trees that can only be reached by ladders….

Did you know I studied creative writing and later received an MFA in children’s book illustration? Story telling with art is my passion, and Mac speaks my language. I believe the best kind of doors we can open and enter into are found in our imagination. It’s so hard for me to articulate the beauty and power and importance I feel that is using one’s imagination. So, I’ll let Mac Barnett explain in his inspiring Ted Talk…

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learning to love the questions (part 1)

“… have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves…”  – Rainer Maria Rilke

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Once again, I’m having trouble slowing down and capturing my thoughts on recent struggles, which I’m learning is actually part of the struggle. It’s as if there are little fireflies darting through my brain. I catch a glimpse of one truth and try to grab on to it, but before I can wrap my brain around its meaning and beauty there are three others that light up in the background, and before I even realize it I’ve lost sight of the one that possibly had something to show me. Deep breath, because even this metaphor is stressing me out. So, because I’m working on taking hold of my thoughts and questioning their meaning, and more importantly their truth, let’s take hold of this metaphor:

It seems I’m grasping at things that are not meant to be held and understood fully. Sitting outside at dusk on a warm muggy summer night with these lights flickering all around is magical and the epitome of peacefulness to me. Magical by definition is something that cannot be fully understood, and as soon as it can be the magic is lost. Peacefulness also elicits an idea of restfulness and calm, in the midst of the unknown. So, part of being able to sit and enjoy the beauty of a magical summer evening is accepting and appreciating that each individual light flickering in the night is not meant to be captured, held, and dissected.

Easier said than done, especially when we’re actually talking about my thoughts and trying to move toward truth and healing instead of just enjoying an evening of lightning bugs in the backyard. However, I’m thinking there might be great magic and peace in accepting who I’m created to be, and acknowledging I cannot fully understand and control my thoughts. I can work on acknowledging their presence, seeing them for what they are- truth or not, and let them flicker out, one by one or several at a time. I can try to love the questions themselves and have great peace in believing the creator of the universe didn’t make a mistake when he created me, me….

continued in part 2.

“I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” – Rainer Maria Rilke